Revolutionary War heroine Margaret Corbin had a fascinating and extremely hard life, although she is most commonly remembered for a single act: taking over her husband’s cannon during the Battle of Fort Washington in 1776. This act resulted in her becoming the first woman to receive a pension from the United States Military and immortalizing her as “Captain Molly,” one of the nation’s first female war heroes. But often overlooked are the complexities of her life before and following the battle, as well as the mysteries that surround her afterlife that are still ongoing even 218 years after her death.
After a highly celebrated effort by the DAR in 1926 to locate her unmarked burial place, she was reinterred at West Point Cemetery with full military honors and her legacy grew to inspire many. But a recent disturbance at the gravesite led to an extensive forensic archeological study that revealed the remains thought to be Margaret’s that had been moved to West Point, were in fact an unknown male’s.
A special rededication ceremony took place May 1, 2018 at the Margaret Corbin Monument in the West Point Cemetery to honor her legacy, but the mystery continues: Where’s Margaret? While the true remains of Margaret Corbin could be lost to time, that hasn’t deterred the Daughters of the American Revolution from relaunching an effort similar to that of 1926 in order to to bring greater awareness to Margaret’s story and hopefully one day find her remains in order to give her the burial of honor she deserves.